Senior guard Nathalie Fontaine attempts to come down the court in the game against Ohio Valley at Worthen Arena on Dec. 3 DN PHOTO ALLYE CLAYTON
Women's basketball beats Ohio Valley University, 94-45
Senior guard Nathalie Fontaine led Ball State (4-2) with 29 points in the Cardinals’ 94-45 victory against Division-II Ohio Valley University (1-6).
The Cardinals outscored the Fighting Scots 62-10 in the paint.
Fontiane started the game 10-for-10 from the floor, and when she was pulled with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter, her point total was just one shy of Ohio Valley’s team total of 30.
She believes she was too focused to notice.
“I wasn’t aware of their points, honestly.” Fontaine said.
Head coach Brady Sallee interjected with a laugh.
“Just hers,” he said.
Fontaine backed that up, admitting she was well aware of her perfect start to the game – she didn’t miss from the floor until 4:24 was left on the clock in the second quarter.
She entered the game tied for first in the National Collegiate Athletic Association with a perfect free-throw percentage (24-24), but missed her first free-throw of the season in the first quarter making her 27-28 on the year.
After the game, Sallee couldn’t resist another joke.
“We’re gonna wear gray uniforms again,” Sallee said. “[Fontaine] hates these gray uniforms, but every time she misses a free-throw, we’re wearing them again.”
Sallee said Fontaine benefited from the scheme used against Ohio Valley’s zone defense, as did the rest of the team.
“It was good for us tonight – we played against 40 minutes of zone,” Sallee said. “Honestly, we don’t practice a whole lot against zone. … We needed this work.”
Ball State’s bench received extra work – all ten players on the Cardinals active roster played at least 10 minutes.
Just one player, freshman point guard Carmen Grande, saw more than 25 minutes of game time, though that was in part because sophomore Brionna Davis did not dress.
Sallee said "it wasn't anything disciplinary," and he would talk to the training staff after the press conference.
The Cardinals' bench scored 33 points, led by Lucia Fernandez’s 16 points.
“Here over the last three or four games [the bench] has started to turn that corner," Sallee said. "I think they’re getting comfortable in their role, I think they’re understanding what we need from them in the game.”
Four different players – Grande, sophomores Moriah Monaco and Frannie Frazier and junior Jill Morrison – had five or more assists as the Cardinals totaled 27 overall.
Ball State out-rebounded Ohio Valley as well, 49-26. The Cardinals also shot 50 percent from the field (38-76) and hauled in 27 offensive boards.
“That was about like it needed to look,” Sallee said. “We needed to come out and take care of business right away, and not mess around with them … Now we quickly move on to a big one on Sunday.”
Ball State's next game is on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m., against 4-2 Butler University at Worthen arena. The Bulldogs have beaten major conference opponents like Clemson and Texas Christian.
After the game, Worthen Arena will host Winter Fan Jam, where fans can receive free food and meet the men’s and women’s basketball teams.